8 Tips for Saving Time at Work

Office Fornitures

Image by ddqhu

Picture this: you get into work a few minutes late and tell yourself that you’ll stay late to make up the time. You then spend some time getting a coffee and catching up with your colleagues as you distractedly go through your emails. Eventually you decide what to do first and try to get some work done before lunch. Then you realise how much you have left to do and skip lunch to keep working. Before you know it, you’re starving and it’s still a couple of hours before you can leave – but you’ve got no energy left to keep working. You force yourself to stay late, work inefficiently, then go home feeling exhausted and unproductive. If all this sounds familiar, then you could definitely benefit from the following tips to save time at work.


1) Check Your E-mail Strategically

If you’re bombarded with emails while you’re at work, checking them constantly will stop you from staying focused. Turn off email notifications and give yourself periodic intervals to check your email, depending on how frequently you’re sent new messages. Alternately, if you don’t drive to work, check your emails en route to work via your phone.


2) Keep Your Workspace Neat

Nothing wastes time like having to search for things – whether physical or virtual. Keep all the documents on your desk sorted out, and ensure your computer files are properly organised and backed up if necessary. You can even create multiple folders in your email inbox for grouping relevant messages together.


3) Keep To-Do Lists

Before you go home, write up a to-do list so you already have some idea of what you need to do the next day. Then update it the next morning when you come into work and receive any new messages or tasks. Be sure to include things like meetings and suchlike so you know how much time you’ll actually get to yourself.


4) Sync All Your Information

If you have a smartphone or multiple computers, use an app that enables you to sync all your to-do lists and calendar across all devices. Otherwise, not being able to access one or the other will send you into a panic.


5) Stretch Your Legs

Don’t just power through your work – take breaks to walk around or get something to drink. Doing so keeps you refreshed and prevents you from losing concentration later in the day. It’s better to take a five-minute break now than to lose fifteen minutes of productivity later.


6) Communicate Effectively

If you need to talk to someone, work out in advance what the best way of doing so is – whether that’s by walking up to them directly or scheduling it beforehand. Account for this. Also, if you need to speak to someone in private, try to let them know as far in advance as possible, so you can find a good place to do it – especially if you’re both part of an open-plan office. If you find that colleagues are frequently disrupted by the conversations of others it may be worth buying or leasing some demountable partitions, which allow you to easily create a private space, without committing to a permanent office layout.


7) Learn To Say No

If you’re asked to do or help with something that isn’t relevant to you, it’s okay to turn it down. If that person’s your superior, find someone else and check things with them to ensure you’re not being taken advantage of. It’s far better to do that than have your time taken up by someone else’s tasks.


8) Don’t Skip Lunch

It may save time now, but it’ll only slow you down in the long run. Get away from your desk too – eating while staring at your computer screen distracts you from really enjoying your food, so you’ll feel less full and get hungry again faster.


If you’ve got any other time-saving tips, share them in the comments!